JOHN WESLEY CHIPMAN

JOHN WESLEY CHIPMAN

October 30, 1964 to November 8, 2019

Nonchalance, history, and sports

John and Ernesto Banes at play.

John Wesley Chipman—a beloved son, brother, uncle, and friend, known for his nonchalance (until he got to know you), dry wit, vast knowledge of history, all things sports and movie related, and lamenting every faulty move made by USC football since the Pete Carroll years—passed away on November 8, 2019 at his home in Woodland Hills.

He was just 55.

Despite being an avid reader, John was anything but an open book. Even when the text became clear, few but those closest to him had the honor of comprehending his humor, his idiosyncrasies, his paradoxes. One of his best friends, Greg Dare, relates how John was a chronic ranker.

“Many of our conversations would include some sort of challenge to list or rank things for debate/critique by the other,” Greg wrote in a final letter honoring his friend. “For example, the top 5 movies with Tom Cruise, best quarterbacks six feet tall or less, worst professional sports outfit.” The letter was read at John’s memorial by their mutual friend, Ernesto Banes.
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JOE HELLER

The New York Times called it “The Best Obituary Ever”

JOE HELLER

January 24, 1937 – September 8, 2019

NOTE: When Joe Heller died at 82 on Sept. 8, his daughter Monique Heller wrote a paid obituary in the Hartford Courant on Sept. 10, 2019, describing her father’s inimitably irreverent and preposterous personality(Subheads added here.)

Excrement meatloaf sandwiches

Joe Heller made his last undignified and largely irreverent gesture on September 8, 2019, signing off on a life, in his words, “generally well-lived and with few regrets.” When the doctors confronted his daughters with the news last week that “your father is a very sick man,” in unison they replied, “you have no idea.”

God thankfully broke the mold after Joe was born to the late Joseph Heller, Sr. and Ruth Marion (Clock) on January 24, 1937 in New Haven, CT. Being born during the Depression shaped Joe’s formative years and resulted in a lifetime of frugality, hoarding and cheap mischief, often at the expense of others. Being the eldest was a dubious task but he was up for the challenge and led and tortured his siblings through a childhood of obnoxious pranks, with his brother, Bob, generally serving as his wingman. Pat, Dick and Kathy were often on the receiving end of such lessons as “Ding Dong, Dog….” and thwarting lunch thieves with laxative-laced chocolate cake and excrement meatloaf sandwiches.

Named his first dog “Fart”

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RYAN DOUGLAS REITMEYER

RYAN DOUGLAS REITMEYER

July 23, 1976 — September 1, 2019

An Incredible Will to Survive and Thrive

Ryan with parents, Debbie and Doug Reitmeyer.

On the morning of September 1, 2019, the world lost a young man who lit up every room he ever entered and brought a smile to the face of every person he ever met. Ryan Reitmeyer was an awesome and valued friend to hundreds, and he inspired thousands that knew of his challenges and how he so positively dealt with them every moment of his life.

Ryan had an incredible drive to succeed.  Barely surviving a 2005 boating accident that left him with a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), he overcame inconceivable odds with the help of his family, friends, caretakers, medical experts and the use of advanced technologies from researchers around the world. A native Texan, he went on to live a vibrant, inspiring, activity-filled life for more than fourteen years.

Although Ryan suffered a fatal aneurysm and ultimately passed away at Seton Williamson County Medical Center on September 1st, his legacy lives on through his having proven the value of miraculous innovations that aided in his recovery. Several of these innovations are now providing hope and help for other TBI sufferers, including returning war veterans.

He was just forty-three.

Ryan’s will to not only survive but thrive characterized his life. He had an incredible ability to connect with people, a love of friends, good times and life on Lake Travis. One had only to visit his website to see hundreds of photos of Ryan, family and friends frolicking on weekends in and around Austin.

Quick to smile or sing a song

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SCOTT ERRITT SHY

SCOTT ERRITT SHY

October 1, 1990 to June 21, 2019

 Gone Too Soon

Still a young man.

Scott Erritt Shy—a highly decorated petty officer in the U.S. Navy, whose happy-go-lucky nature and dedication to service inspired everyone he knew—died suddenly while based at the Naval Air Station in Lemoore, CA.

At just twenty-eight, he was gone too soon.

His future limitless, Scott was still a young man who loved Marvel movies, Harry Potter books, and his Batman watch. Perhaps due his fondness of military planes, he wanted to join the Navy and did so on April 27, 2010.

Call Sign “Bullet”

Attached to Striker Fighter Squadron TWO (VFA-2), also known as the “Bounty Hunters”, Scott found it amusing that the squadron’s call sign was “Bullet”, a unit made up of a wide array of aircraft performing a variety of combat and support missions that deploy aboard the USS Carl Vinson. He was an Aviation Machinist’s Mate Second Class (AW), one who amassed accommodations in his short career and was quickly promoted.

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Marilyn Ann Rosenthal

MARILYN ANN ROSENTHAL

January 5, 1928 to December 23, 2018

Full of grace and kindness

A genuine dynamo!

Studious, passionate, full of grace and kindness, Marilyn Ann Rosenthal—a devoted  mom and enthusiastic teacher who fostered her students’ character as well as their intellect—passed away of natural causes in Colorado Springs, CO, on December 23, 2018, her children at her side. She was 90-years old.

Marilyn’s temperament was the quality that differentiated her from most. A quote by John Wesley, an 18th Century English cleric, exemplifies her life: “Do all the good that you can, by all of the means that you can, in all of the places that you can, at all of the times that you can as long as ever you can.”

Marilyn’s parents, Glenn and Esther Fithian

Few knew what a skilled musician she was, how superbly she played the piano—except, that is, for the pet parakeet that sat on her shoulder, an image her family treasures.

Raised with strong mid-western values

One of five children of Glenn Fithian Sr, a farmer, and Esther (Skavdahl) Fithian, a teacher, Marilyn was born on January 5, 1928, in North Platte, Nebraska. Raised with strong mid-western values in a loving, rambunctious family that included two brothers and two sisters, she sensed her calling early and moved to Fort Collins, CO, where she entered Colorado State University (CSU), graduating, in 1947, with honors and a BA in Sociology and Education.

At 5-feet-5, Marilyn had beautiful, soft brown hair and smiling blue eyes. Gregarious and full of fun, she was never without a smile on her face. One can easily imagine her as a Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority girl sought after by all the boys.

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